How to protect seniors -- older parents, relatives and loved ones -- who live alone. Tips on what to do in case of an emergency. Safety ideas.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The FAST Way to Search for Signs of Stroke

by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert

What is the best way to detect stroke symptoms? Act “FAST.”

The “FAST” way to remember the warning signs of stroke is an acronym method based around the four letters in that word. It is shown below. The statements in quotes are what to ask the person who may be having a stroke:

F is for FACE: “Smile”. If one side of the face droops: may be stroke.
A is for ARM: “Raise both arms”. If one arm drifts downward: may be stroke.
S is for SPEECH: “Repeat the following sentence” (have the person repeat a simple sentence). If the speech is slurred or strange: may be stroke.
T is for TIME: If any of the above signs are present, don’t waste any time; immediately call 911 or take the person to the nearest stroke center or hospital.

(Source: “Stroke Awareness,” article from National Stroke Association,

For Life Alert members with stroke symptoms, there is another way to get the time-critical assistance that is needed: press the button on the Life Alert medical alert pendant. This will summon immediate help, 24/7. Using Life Alert is best if a phone cannot be reached or if driving the person to a hospital or stroke center is not possible. If a stroke victim is alone, Life Alert’s medical alert system may in fact be the only way to get help.

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Life Alert is the leading emergency response company, dedicated to solving home safety issues. With a touch of a button, Life Alert sends help fast, 24/7, whether it’s for a medical, fall, fire, or home invasion emergency, even when you can’t reach a phone. Life Alert saves a life from a catastrophic every 10 minutes and has received over 25,000 testimonials from grateful customers since 2008, and was the ONLY company former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, endorsed until his death in 2013. Founded in 1987, Life Alert has become the industry leader in personal protection but also has become a pop culture icon with their classic slogan, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” which was ranked #1 by USA TODAY in its list of the most memorable TV commercials. In 2008, “The Martha Stewart Show” featured Life Alert and recommend them to all of the patients at the Martha Stewart Center for Living while pointing out that Life Alert is "so inexpensive yet so vital for people." Life Alert, their slogan and/or pendant have been featured in many T.V. shows such as 30 Rock, Supernatural, The Goldbergs, and Jay Leno frequently referred to their famous slogan on The Tonight Show.